A personality disorder is defined in the DSM-IV as “An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior the deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture.” and in the DSM-5 as an “impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual’s developmental stage or sociocultural environment.”
It is easy to grasp from this description that a personality disorder is simply a deviation from one’s own culture. You are NOT sick, your brain is just wired differently from the rest of society. Western society doesn’t know what to do with brains that are different, so they label them as sick. It is so important to grasp this.
Now let’s look through some of the criteria of BPD in the DSM-5:
1. Unstable identity and/or self-direction such as goals and aspirations
It is considered abnormal in Western culture to not have a sense of identity. In other cultures, this is considered normal. Take Buddhism for example: in this Eastern philosophy, it is thought that we do not have an identity. There is NO self in Buddhism. In Taoism, another Eastern philosophy, it is considered normal to be unsure of your life direction, because we are always, CONSTANTLY changing. In Taoism, we are encouraged to go with the ever changing flow of life. It is okay to change paths, continuously.
2. Compromised ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others associated with interpersonal hypersensitivity (i.e., prone to feel slighted or insulted); perceptions of others selectively biased toward negative attributes or vulnerabilities.
This honestly can NOT be farther away from the truth. People with BPD are the most empathetic people in the world. In Chinese philosophy, it is well known that things exist in opposites. So if you appear extremely unemphatic, it is a sign you are actually incredibly emphatic. If you have BPD and you feel like you honestly have no empathy, talk to me. I doubt you exist.
Above: The ying yang symbol in Chinese philosophy, showing that two opposites are actually the same.
3.. Intense, unstable, and conflicted close relationships, marked by mistrust, neediness, and anxious preoccupation with real or imagined abandonment
This is BEHAVIOR, not a sickness. Of course people leave. It is a fact of life, and it is human to worry about this. The fact that people “abandon” you is merely one way to look at things: it is just a perspective, not a sickness.
4. Close relationships often viewed in extremes of idealization and devaluation and alternating between over involvement and withdrawal.
Again, this is another perspective. What people do not tell you is that this perspective in particular- the black and white perspective- is actually natural. You can compare it to the workings of quantum particles, which are the matter that make up your entire body and the entire universe. Without going into the nitty gritty details of it (though feel free to do research if you don’t believe me), particles change properties depending on how you measure them. If you measure them as a wave, it will be a wave. If you measure them as a particle, it will be a particle. This is called particle-wave duality. The main point here is that particles can instantly switch between having two properties, just like people with borderline personality disorder switch between two perspectives, idealization and devaluation. People with borderline personality disorder are NOT sick, they just merely operate closer to the workings of the universe.
5. Chronic feelings of emptiness; dissociative states under stress
Guess what? Atoms are at least 99.9999% empty space. So the feeling of emptiness and dissociation is normal, it is again closer to the inner workings of the universe.
If you can switch your perspective, you can change your reality. So if you have borderline personality disorder, understand this:
YOU ARE NOT SICK.
You just have behaviors that are different from your culture, and your behaviors are consistent with those of nature. So this is more reason to love yourself. LOVE YOURSELF, you are the universe.
If you can find the power to love yourself and appreciate how your brain works, you WILL HEAL. You can heal, I promise. And you know how I know this?
Because I have healed.